Interview with Nick Ghanbarian of Bayside

Hot off the release of their sixth studio album, Bayside returned to the UK in support of Alkaline Trio. We caught up with bassist and hockey enthusiast, Nick Ghanbarian on the Nottingham leg of their UK tour.

Cult is your first album in three years, how do you think it has been received so far?
Really really good, I think especially over here in the UK. Our last album wasn’t released over here because of label inadequacies and Hopeless put out the album here, and at home in America it’s been going absolutely great. It’s been our highest debut in the charts that we’ve ever had and over here we know it’s going pretty well and the first couple of songs people seem to know the songs and like them so I think that means it’s going well so far.

Who would you say are some of the key bands who have influenced either your sound or this album in particular?
We get compared to bands like The Smoking Popes or Alkaline Trio all the time but our influences as far as how we write and why we play music it ranges from Bad Religion, NOFX, Bouncing Souls, all the type of stuff. I think we all learned to play our instruments because of different influences, I think Jack is a lot more into jazz or metal and Anthony is the songwriter of the group so he pulls influences from everywhere. I mean the way we carry ourselves and the way we play and the way we tour and that type of stuff, we all look up to bands that we grew up on like Green Day and Bad Religion and stuff like that. We sound one way but bands have influenced us in a lot of ways as far as what kind of band we want to be. We all grew up in the nineties so all the bands from the nineties that are still around and doing well are big influences on us.

Who are some of your favourite bands to tour with?
To tour with definitely back in the States one of the better tours we ever did was Taking Back Sunday about a year and a half ago. They are really really good friends of ours and the tour was just like ninety-nine percent sold out everywhere and it was awesome. And it helped us bring a lot, we have been a band now for fourteen years but we still have a long ways to go, we feel as far as winning fans and how many people know us and like us. It’s similar to touring with Trio here, people maybe have seen our name, maybe heard a couple songs but not seen us and thats like our biggest drawing point because you see us, our show and how we play and that’s where people sign up to be Bayside fans. But New Found Glory, Anberlin those are all really good friends of ours who we have toured with over the years, it’s cool to be on tour with your friends who are also in bands.

Cult is your first album on Hopeless Records, do you think Bayside has found a home?
I hope so, they’ve done more for us in the couple months we’ve been with them than all our other labels have in the past. And at this point we are who we are, it’s our sixth album and we have been around for fourteen years so we don’t need that much really. Just support us, put our album out and do what you said you would do and that would be a good label and that is exactly what they are doing right now.

If you could pick one band to tour with from when you were growing up, who would it be?
You know what? Easy answer is Green Day. Because they are so far out of the stratosphere for us we haven’t ever crossed paths. So that definitely, it’s the reason I picked up a bass, early nineties Green Day. That would be cool. And I feel lucky enough that we have crossed paths and toured with so many bands that we do like, like the Souls and Bad Religion and stuff like that but Green Day again is like out of this universe as far as how big they are so we’ve never even come close to playing with them so that would be a good one.

Is it true that Bayside got their name from Bayside train station en-route to a New Found Glory show?
Yep, that’s a true story. I wasn’t in the band yet but that’s the story. I think Anthony and two other guys were Bayside back then and they had written songs and recorded them but didn’t have a name yet, and they were on their to a New Found Glory show and that’s the town they were driving in.

Who is your money on for the Stanley Cup this year?
Well obviously the Rangers, I will say that first but I think I would say Blues or Sharks. I feel like the Blues have been on the come up for a couple of years and now their team looks so stacked, I don’t know if they know how to win but I think the Sharks and Blues will be in the Conference Finals and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Rangers vs Bruins in the Eastern Finals. And I have no idea after that.

And Finally, What is your favourite kind of pizza?
When I’m home, I don’t even know if they do this here but do you do like buffalo chicken on a pizza here? I don’t know if thats my favourite but I usually have like two slices when I go and if that’s available I will have one of that and one regular. I’m not a huge toppings person but I like chicken on a pizza.

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